Parenting evolves over the years from diapers to diplomas. An important part of a teenager’s education is financial literacy. While this subject is critical to their success as an adult, it’s hardly touched upon in school. Therefore, our credit counseling advice is that parents or guardians step in to teach. Help your teen get a job and learn about money.
Tips to Help Your Teen Find a Job
Finding a job is more than searching the web or skimming the classifieds. There is a résumé to write, an interview to pass and a wage negotiation. Plus, your teen has to have the right skills and temperament to keep the job! How can you help your teen learn these skills? Here are a few tips on how you can guide your teens through the employment process and beyond.
Hands-on Experience for the Job They Want
The best way to learn is by doing. A big way to help your teen learn the ropes of any skill or job is to actually get them some experience doing it. For example, if your teen wants to mow lawns and do yard work to make money, make sure they get experience in your own yard as well as other relatives for additional experience.
Additionally, there are some job skills that are great to have for entry-level office positions that your teen might be applying to. Here are some examples:
- Printer and copier basics. Head over to Staples or even the library and let them complete different tasks on a larger machine than at school or at home.
- Answering the phone in a professional manner and being able to take a message.
- Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, plus basic e-mail formatting in a professional setting. They should be learning some of this in school. Make sure that they do there or at home!
- Working with different people.
- Managing multiple projects or tasks.
- Following instructions.
- Being respectful, punctual and reliable.
- Appropriate attire.
- Representing yourself well on social media. Companies check this and the Internet is an unforgiving place.
- Filling out paperwork. This gets tricky even for adults. However, your teen should be able to do things like signing their name, know their Social Security Number, address, emergency contact, phone number, etc.
You can also help your teen develop these skills by setting up mock experiences at home, having them volunteer somewhere or work with another friend or family member. Sometimes kids don’t want to hear all that their parent has to offer. So you can outsource!
You can help your teen with their money management skills. The most alluring part of a job is to earn money, so make sure they can really achieve their financial goals. Here are some financial literacy skills that you can instill in your child:
- Budgeting basics
- Wants vs needs
- SMART goals
- How to open checking and savings accounts
- W-2’s & taxes
- Student loan debt
- Retirement and compound interest
- Responsible credit use
Finally, Communication is another extremely important skill to have. Most kids and teens find talking to adults and strangers nerve wrecking and difficult. That’s because, as parents, we tend to do it for them all the time. Make your teen call for their own appointments and answer the family’s landline if you have one. If starting a yard work business or any side hustle, make your teen talk with neighbors, family, and friends to promote their services. Being able to communicate under pressure or under criticism respectfully is also a necessary skill to have. No matter what job they have, communication is key.
Knowing these principles will go a long way in your child’s life. Helping them understand how to earn money, save, spend and avoid too much debt can provide them with applicable skills for their entire lives. You also need to be a positive role model. Share your finances with your teens as much as you feel comfortable. You can also share successes and failures to illustrate concepts more clearly.
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, schedule a free credit counseling session with ACCC today.